God Creating Adam
Either He is fatigued –
Creation takes it out of you
And this is the sixth day –
Or else He is having second thoughts.
(But Gods’s First are always right.)
Adam has no thoughts at the moment,
Only a certain bewilderment:
It was all so sudden,
There’s no substitute for a leisurely womb.
He hardly seems a sufficient abyss
To be so intensely brooded over.
How can he hope to live up to it?
The serpent is already coiled about him.
Surely a premature appearance?
(Though no surprise to the Omniscient.)
Heretics would say later, it was life
Snaking out of Adam’s right foot –
As if He’d left a hole in it!
Or perhaps intended, Eve as yet undreamt of,
For a household pet. Snakes have clean habits.
Prudently God provides Adam with ribs in plenty:
No need to start from scratch next time.
‘I must create a system,’ He is thinking,
‘and leave the rest to them…’
The snake is whispering about a thing called ‘sex’,
Though what it is he doesn’t know from Adam.
Can that really be the sunset –
Louring and chaotic?
It doesn’t look natural,
Not exactly the shepherd’s delight.
Next there would have to be a Shepherd.
That’s the trouble with creating,
There’s no end to it.
D.J. Enright taught for many years, chiefly in the Far East, and subsequently worked in publishing in London. His Collected Poems came out in 1981, enlarged in 1987, and his most recent collection of verse is Under the Circumstances (1991). He was awarded the Queen’ s Gold Medal for Poetry in 1981.